Flows of Water and Wildlife in KAZA

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The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world and is an important region for southern African wildlife and biodiversity, and also a major source of regional tourism. The headwaters of the basin and the majority of its water resources are located upstream in the Angolan highlands, which have historically remained undeveloped. Angola has recently expressed an interest in developing the rivers of the upstream basin to support the economic and health needs of Angola’s growing population. This master’s project focused on trying to predict how new infrastructure development might change surface water distribution throughout the region, and by extension, wildlife movement in this region. We developed a water balance model to show how changes in upstream storage and water diversions would alter flows and flood extent at a key downstream location where the Okavango flattens out and spills into its characteristic and seasonal floodplain. For the wildlife movement, we focused on elephant movement in Bwabwata National Park in Namibia. Our analysis is a first step in helping inform the development and conservation planning in the region.





Morris, Jannette, Gabriella Garcia and Ga-on Lee (2020). Flows of Water and Wildlife in KAZA. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20555.

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